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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

AAPG Bulletin


Volume: 65 (1981)

Issue: 9. (September)

First Page: 1664

Last Page: 1664

Title: Atlantic Coal Deposits and Their Future Potential: ABSTRACT

Author(s): John E. Johnston, Edward C. Rhodehamel

Article Type: Meeting abstract


Coal has been produced commercially from the Carboniferous Narragansett basin in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, from the Triassic Richmond and Farmville basins in Virginia, and from the Triassic Sanford and Durham basins in the Deep River coal field in North Carolina.

The Narragansett basin coals range from semianthracite to anthracite. Coals of the Triassic basins range from low to high-volatile bituminous. Metamorphism of Triassic coal is caused by the heat and pressure of intruding diabase dikes and sills which cause the local deposits of natural coke and anthracite.

Deposits of commercial lignite of Late Cretaceous and Tertiary age similar to those of the Gulf Coast province are conspicuous by their absence along the emerged segment of the Atlantic continental shelf. However, thin lignite beds not exceeding a few feet in thickness have been reported in Georgia. A thin 20-cm lignite bed was encountered at 328 m below sea level in a bore hole on Nantucket Island. Lignite and sub-bituminous coal has been reported from offshore "COST" wells, but data from exploration wells are not available.

There are reported coal resources for two of the four basins: Narragansett basin 233,000,000 short tons (211,380,000 Mg), and Sanford/Durham basins 130,000,000 short tons (117,940,000 Mg). A better definition of the stratigraphy and structure of each basin and its coal deposits, coupled with improved recovery methods, must preclude any development of East Coast coal. Detailed studies of coal deposits will provide better definition of the area's depositional environment and a possible aid to locating commercial deposits of hydrocarbons in other forms.

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